UAE agriculture authority prohibits crypto mining on farms: Report

    25 May 2024

    The authority on agriculture in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued an advisory to farmers prohibiting mining crypto on farms.

    The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority reportedly told farmers that farms cannot be used as a site for mining cryptocurrencies. The government agency said the activity is considered a “misuse of the farm for purposes other than its intended use.”

    Furthermore, those caught violating this rule would face penalties of up to 10,000 UAE dirhams, worth about $2,722.

    Crypto mining is a popular way for users to earn cryptocurrencies by confirming transactions on blockchain-based networks. In exchange for completing mathematical puzzles and securing the network, miners are rewarded with newly minted crypto.

    While crypto mining is prohibited on farms, the UAE emerged as a pro-Bitcoin mining jurisdiction in the Middle East in 2023. At the time, data showed that the UAE’s combined Bitcoin mining capacity was around 400 megawatts, 4% of Bitcoin’s global hash rate.

    Meanwhile, even though the UAE is openly friendly to crypto, other Middle Eastern countries like Kuwait are less welcoming to digital assets.

    On July 18, Kuwait banned all operations involving cryptocurrencies, including mining. Kuwait’s primary financial regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), confirmed an “absolute prohibition” on crypto use cases, which includes crypto mining.

    Despite other countries’ stances, the UAE remains a hub for many crypto-focused projects. In May alone, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis and institutional infrastructure provider Blockdaemon expanded into the UAE.

    On May 8, Chainalysis established its regional headquarters in Dubai. The firm has been engaging with local government agencies and offering advice on regulatory development, aiming to drive innovation.

    On May 13, Blockdaemon opened a new office in Abu Dhabi, expanding its presence in the UAE. The company said the expansion plans were approved by the Abu Dhabi Global Market, one of the country’s financial regulators.

    Crypto-native projects also believe that the UAE has been very progressive when it comes to crypto. In a previous Cointelegraph interview, Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov said that the government, regulators, legal system and economics of Dubai are attractive to the crypto space.


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